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China Offers Telecom Licenses to More Private Players

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Published on : Feb 03, 2014

The Industry and Information Technology Ministry of China further opened up the country’s telecom sector to private players as it provided licenses for the resale of mobile services to eight more private players.

Firms that have received the licenses include retail and ecommerce giants such as Suning and Gome. With the receipt of these licenses, the firms can now directly compete with or partner with core operators in China’s telecom sector. The firms with new licenses will be able to engage in reselling mobile services. The new batch of licenses was given out with an aim to further open up the telecom sector that has hitherto been largely monopolized in China.

However, an official from the MIIT was reported as saying that the licensed firms now have to work on improving their pricing as well as customer servicing standards before they can engage in reselling activities.

In order to receive licenses the private firms are required to sign an agreement for cooperation with any of the three main Chinese telecom operators that include: China Unicom, China Telecom, and China Mobile. It is only after this that the private firms can sign an application for receiving a license from the MIIT. 

It was in December 2013 that the first batch of licenses was granted to 11 private firms. As this pilot scheme progresses further, more firms are likely to be granted a license to conduct business in the private sector. Applications for the same will close in July 2014.

Earlier, in December 2013, the MIIT had issued 4G licenses to China’s three backbone operators in the telecom sector. This marked the dawn of a new era in the Chinese high-speed mobile network.

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